Posts Tagged ‘Continuous Process Improvement’

Directed Practice, Flow, and Continuous Improvement

July 7, 2016

(4th Post on GRIT)

These concepts have been covered in prior healthy memory blog post, but they are being reiterated here as Dr. Duckworth regards them as central to GRIT

Directed practice comes from the research of Ericsson who has documented that it is not just the amount of practice that is done, but more importantly the nature of that practice.  Experts become experts by focusing their practice on their weaknesses.  Dr. Duckworth provides interesting descriptions of the directed practice employed by successful swimmers.  They focus on minute aspects of the task such as the shaping of their hands and fingers.  Virtually no  part of the body that influences the passage of the body through water is neglected.

Flow refers to the state an expert is in during peak performance.  Flow was identified by Mihaly Csikszenmihali.  In the flow state everything runs smoothly and one looses a sense of time.  One can regard flow as something that can be achieved in certain types of performance after many hours of directed practice

Finally, there is “Kaizen” which is Japanese for resisting the plateau of arrested development.  It’s literal translation is “continuous improvement,” sometimes referred to as continuous process improvement.  Dr. Duckworth writes “After interviewing dozens and dozens of grit pardons, I can tell you that they all exude Kaizen.  There are no exceptions.”

Mindfulness As Continuous Process Improvement

July 12, 2014

Mindfulness is not just a matter of meditating on a regular schedule. Mindfulness is something we should practice whenever we are conscious. When we awake at night, we should monitor our thoughts. Are they negative? Are we having hostile thoughts about others? Are we ruminating on the mistakes we have made? Reviewing mistakes we have made is good if we can learn from them. But once we have learned from them, they should be discarded. We should not keep thinking thoughts about matters we can do nothing about. Of course during our waking hours our minds can become quite busy. Here it is good to remember the acronym from the healthymemory blog “A Simple Tip to Spark Mindfulness. That acronym is STOP

SStop. Simply pause from what you are doing.

T –Take a few slow, deep, breaths with awareness and tune in.

OObserve and curiously notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

P –Proceed with whatever you were doing with awareness and kindness.

Being busy we can find it difficult to find time to meditate. Research is currently underway to see how little meditation might be helpful as well as the benefits of doing frequent short periods of meditation throughout the day. Although I am interested in this research, I think each one of us should decide for ourselves. Remember the healthymemory blog post, “Randomized Control Trials, Mindfulness, and Meditation,”your personal results might be idosyncratic to yourself. So a general failure to find benefits for a general population might not apply to you. You can sense what is working.

Research done in memory and training has found that distributed practice is generally superior to massed practice. That is if you are going to spend four hours practicing something, it is better to have four spaced one hour sessions that to do the practicing in one four hour block. I would no be surprised if a similar result was found for meditation. And there might be different results for different types of medication.

© Douglas Griffith and, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.